How do I Install a Satellite Receiver?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2020
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Installing a satellite receiver may at first seem like a difficult procedure, but with just a few simple instructions, the task can be mastered and completed in just a few hours. The first thing to remember is that most of the major satellite companies, such as DirecTV™ along with Dish Network™, will provide professional installation, often at no charge. Therefore, those needing a satellite receiver installation will be able to have it done relatively easily.

There may be some smaller satellite services, or some rare instances with the major companies, where a consumer will need to install a dish by themselves. This can be done as a simple do-it-yourself project. Following a few steps, the satellite receiver can be functional relatively quickly.

If placing the satellite dish on a post, the first step is to place that support in the ground. It is recommended to set the post in concrete in order to keep it steady. A hole should be dug at least a couple of feet deep. Once that is done, the satellite dish can be placed on the post and secured with nuts and screws.


Once the satellite receiver is set on the post or on the object it is to be permanently affixed to, the most technical part of the installation takes place next. In order to receive satellite signals, satellite dishes must be set exactly to the point they need to be. This includes both adjusting the elevation to the proper level and the azimuth, or horizontal movement. In most cases, the documentation for a self installation will be included with satellite receivers. Therefore, those who choose to do the installation themselves will usually have the information they need relative to their zip code for these specific settings.

Often, before the fine tuning is done, the satellite dish will be connected to the actual satellite receiver unit that will be placed inside the home. The receiver is then connected to the television. This is done through a coaxial cable or, for high definition service, an HDMI cable. The best indication that the proper spot has been found is when a signal is detected on the television set.

Once the satellite receiver is set up, the next step will usually involve calling customer service for the satellite company. The agent on the other end will help set up the initial account and provide you with a programming package of your choice. It should be noted that many times an initial programming package will be an introductory offer that shows what the service can provide, but is also deeply discounted. In order not to get stuck with a big bill, new users should remember to opt for a less expensive package after that introductory period, if that is what they desire to do.


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